Despite the challenges of the passing year, the yuletide is here once again to offer the needed respite.
It is a season to celebrate, share, unwind, hence the need to make the most of it.
But looking at the unbearable cost of travelling far and also the huge risks, it is time to look inwards for homegrown destinations for a great family and group outing this festive season.
Of course, looking inwards will boost domestic tourism and most importantly for the traveler, help you to make the most of the weak Naira.
There are some pocket-friendly and yet quality domestic gateways you can explore this festive season.
If you are a nature lover, Ikogosi Warm Springs in Ekiti State, a wonder of nature where two springs, one of warm water and the other of ice-cold water flow simultaneously, is a good deal this season. Besides a refreshing dip, there are more for sightseeing. It is intriguing to see a tree and a palm growing from the same source at the meeting point area of the warm and cold springs. At the warm spring resort, a large swimming pool fed by natural spring waters welcomes visitors. The cool and serene ambience preserved by thick forest canopies gives one a perfect experience. A dip of one’s leg leaves him/her with nature’s romantic pamper occasioned by the mild fingerings of the warm spring. But you will also feel tickles as the cold spring flows through your feet. There are several accommodation options to choose from while on a visit.
If you are in Lagos, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort awaits your visit. For its fresh water lake, accessible mangrove forest, a savannah, extensive sandy beach, the warm Atlantic sea, stylish accommodation options, activities like bonfire, beach sports, party among others, the beach resort located at Ikogun, Lekki in Lagos, is a must-visit destination to try out this festive season.. There is a unique blend of natural environment with man-made leisure in the resort. Its 65-acre tranquil paradise, surrounding palm and coconut trees that shield the sun, beautiful stretch of the Atlantic coastline of Lagos that cools off the intensity of the tropical heat and the sprawling beach sand that provides enough space for all to funny around besides the luxury and comfort of five-star facilities all will make your visit this season worth the time, money and stress.
Also in Lagos, the Inagbe Grand Resort and Leisure is a place to celebrate life this season. Set on the tranquil banks of the magnificent Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, the resort offers lovers rustic living in a lush island haven, resonating air of simple luxury and refined elegance. It parades 152 stylishly yet tastefully furnished chalets. The chalets offer options depending on the taste of the guests. You have the option of choosing from the 108 chalets closer to the Lagoon or getting more romantic by staying in one of the 44 exclusive rooms by the Atlantic Ocean shore. Besides the Floating Lounge that can seat over 800 guests, the resort offers quality sporting events as well. Guests can always keep fit at the outdoor lawn tennis court, basketball court, and there are two swimming pools by the Atlantic and the Lagoon for leisure swimming and lessons.
If you are in Enugu, Nike Lake Resort will beat your imaginations and pamper you to a pleasurable relaxation typical of resorts of its like over the world.
The resort is one place that is evergreen because of the pristine environment and therapeutic impact of the natural lake resort. A few metres to the resort, you will behold with great awe the natural lake stretching over three kilometres with its incredible and rare aquatic population.
The resort offers 210 well-appointed and tastefully furnished rooms and suites, suitable for all taste and budgets. You can enjoy a ride on the lake with trained boat riders, or if you are more daring, you can join the local fishermen. Pictures taken afterwards will tell the story of how much you enjoyed the Christmas escape.
If you are a golfer or lover of the rich sport, there are quality golf destinations to take your family, spouse or friends to this festive season.
The foremost of them is the Ibom Golf Hotel and Resort in Akwa Ibom State. Life is different and lovely there. The greenness and friendliness of everything around the gold resort will aid a memorable Christmas escape. It will be more fun trying to practise golf just for the sake of pictures, or holding the paddle in pretense of riding a boat at the Nwaniba River in the resort.
There is an expanse of lush vegetation, top-range of accommodation, set out lounge, private balconies and whatever you want for an escape this festive season at the resort.
Another golf destination is Smokin Hills Golf Resort, an emerging destination for golf enthusiasts and nature lovers in Ilara Mokin, Ondo State. On a visit, guests discover beyond the reasons why the resort is ‘smoking’ with leisure.
The resort is set on 140 acres of virgin land carved out of surrounding jungle and rolling hills that emit smoke early in the morning and also at dawn.
If you want excitement in the northern part of the country, then visit the Fifth Chukker. It is an upscale lifestyle oasis of family fun, recreation, polo and culture that spreads across 2000 hectares in the outskirts of Kaduna. On offer in the resort are 100 rooms, consisting of 3-bedroom duplexes, 2- bedroom villas and 1- bedroom lodges.
For spa offerings, a visit to the Amani Spa, at Radisson Blu Hotel Ikeja will make your holiday experience special.
The spa, a prime offering in the hotel, is managed by trained therapists who use their talents to send you into a journey away from reality, and that may just be a perfect gift for your loved one this festive season.
Built on the foot of the hills and spreading across five kilometres, Idanre Hills Resort in Ondo State is well apportioned and fitted with a blend of sophisticated and traditional African motifs.
From the resort, adventurous guests can dare the tallest of the hills, which rises about 300ft above sea level for a bird’s eye view of the alluring and enchanting picturesque conference of undulating rocky ranges and mountains of Idanre Hills. On offer are various accommodation options stylishly designed, and colourfully furnished with visitors in mind. On a visit, guests have the option of choosing from the tree houses, houses on the rock (Ile oriota), and all fully serviced apartments and in three bedrooms and two bedrooms en suites categories.
There are many other domestic destinations that are worth visiting if you set your mind to enjoy them this season.
But wherever you choose to celebrate your festive holiday, do not expect too much from the destinations, enjoy what is on offer and make yourself happy. As you patronise these destinations, you are supporting the locals, helping the destinations to remain in business and also impacting the economy.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance!